Re:Verse passage –Exodus 20:3 (day three)

“Thou shalt have no other gods before me.”

Whole lotta gods out there—you know, those concepts or people or things that you’ve organized your life around, made concessions to, or given up dreams for so that they could make your life secure. We’ve all been there over and over. Those gods will claim to shield you from suffering, be it pain or hardship or loss or sickness or famine. The actual God will shield you from no such thing. Instead, the actual God will teach you to live the kind of life that suffering will not destroy. If your god has convinced you that it can separate you from suffering, your god has not prepared you for reality. Only the God who actually is will lead you to know how to live in the universe that actually is.

Author: Bryan Richardson

Bryan Richardson is the Associate Pastor to Pastoral Ministries & College and Single Adults at FBCSA.

3 thoughts on “Actual”

  1. Brilliant observation. And so simple and true. “Reality”, as you mentioned earlier in your blog. We have difficulty moving on from what we desire or want God to be and do in this life. Maybe that’s why our view of Jesus in Gethsemane is little more than a lesson on Judas’ betrayal and leadership’s arrogance and abuse of power.

  2. You struck a strong cord in me when you wrote: “Instead, the actual God will teach you to live the kind of life that suffering will not destroy.” What a transformational change this kind of living proposes. Instead of living a life that seeks a god to avoid discomfort on many levels due to a fear of destruction to living a life that seeks to be taught by the actual God the kind of life that suffering will not destroy. This kind of life that suffering cannot destroy is the kind of teaching I hear Paul speak about. “More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, that suffering produces…” Romans 5:3. My hope is that we will taught more and more what scripture says about that kind of living to prepare us all for what lies ahead. Thank you for what you gave us.

  3. Bryan,
    Thank you!! This really hit home for me, turning to other gods is probably the easiest thing to do when we are going through life’s sufferings. We expect God to protect us and shield us from the things that hurt us or that are to difficult to bare. I am grateful that you pointed out that our One true God doesn’t shield us but in fact teaches us to live the kind of life that the sufferings will not destroy. I may go through the fire but I will not be consumed, just as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were not consumed in the firy furnace. They trusted the One true God. Thanks again Bryan.

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